Coburn Provides E-Mails Related to Ensign’s Affair

Posted July 23, 2010 at 5:04pm

Sen. Tom Coburn’s office has turned over more than 1,200 pages of e-mails to a Justice Department probe into Sen. John Ensign’s (R-Nev.) affair with a former staffer, Coburn’s office said Friday.

According to John Hart, a spokesman for Coburn, the Oklahoma Republican turned over the e-mails following a request from the Justice Department. Coburn “has always said he’d gladly comply with any request into the matter,” Hart said, adding that the lawmaker “went above and beyond” the request in turning over so much material.

Although Coburn is not a target of the investigation and has not been subpoenaed, he has nevertheless become entangled in the scandal thanks to his personal relationship with Ensign. The two men lived together for several years in a Capitol Hill home, and Coburn has acknowledged providing moral advice to Ensign.

The DOJ is investigating Ensign’s relationship with his former top aide Doug Hampton and Hampton’s wife, Cynthia, who worked on Ensign’s campaign. Ensign and Cynthia Hampton carried on an affair for months while the Hamptons worked for the lawmaker.

After learning of the affair, Mr. Hampton left Ensign’s office to begin work as a lobbyist. Hampton has alleged that Ensign actively sought to help Hampton recruit clients, a charge Ensign has denied.